Imagine visiting the dentist and leaving your appointment with a custom restoration like a crown, inlay, onlay or veneer in place. With CEREC®, short for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, this is exactly what can happen. This innovative dental procedure allows a dentist to economically restore damaged teeth in a single appointment with a high-quality, durable ceramic material that matches your natural tooth color. CEREC enables dentists to save as much original tooth structure as possible and keep their patients gorgeous smiles in tact. This is done in one visit as opposed to two visits so it means less time in the chair for the patient.
The Science of CEREC
CEREC uses CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing) technology, incorporating a camera, a computer, and milling machine in one instrument.
First, your damaged tooth is prepared with a thin layer of reflective powder applied directly on the tooth’s surface. With a special camera, the dentist takes an optical impression of the damaged tooth, which is transferred to the computer and displayed on a color screen.
The CEREC Process
Your doctor will use CAD technology to design the restoration. Then, the CAM takes over and automatically creates the restoration. Using a high-speed diamond bur and a disk, the CAM mills the restoration out of a solid block of ceramic material. Once completed, the dentist will bond the new restoration to the surface of the old tooth. The whole process takes approximately one hour.